Fit Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Fit Homemade Spaghetti Sauce | Mimi's Fit Foods

I’ve said it before, but my hubby is not the biggest fan of traditional Spaghetti (thus this and this), but I am.  We had a lengthy discussion about this and what it came down to was the sauce.  He’s just not a fan of the bottled/canned sauces that are available to purchase on the grocery isle.  So, I set out to make us a homemade sauce that would make all of our tummies smile.  Here’s what did the trick!

The secret to most GREAT sauces is the opportunity to let them simmer for a nice amount of time.  While this sauce takes only a few minutes to prepare, it does require a nice 45-minute simmer.  So, plan ahead.  The simmering is where all the magic happens, so don’t be messing with that step if you mess with anything.

I love the balance of textures found in the sauce.  I used a combination of diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes and I think it yielded some fabulous texture.

The spice combination is pretty perfect too!  If I wasn’t feeding a 2-year-old, I may have added a bit more crushed red pepper . . . but what I have in the recipe is definitely enough to give is a slight punch without really even noticing it’s there. And, you’ll find all your traditional Italian spices in there too.

Fit Homemade Spaghetti Sauce - Mimi's Fit Foods

I must note that I used no added sugars.  Sugars are typically added to most spaghetti sauces.  I was hoping that this sauce would taste well without it, and I am happy to report that it’s not even missed . . . not one bit!

You can easily use lean ground beef in the recipe.  I chose to use ground turkey to save a little on calories and fat, but they can be interchangeable.

This recipe makes a lot of sauce.  I like it that way because then I can freeze it and use it for later (without having to do any of the work).  It freezes beautifully.

I like to serve this sauce on top of whole wheat noodles of any kind.  It would also be delicious served over spaghetti squash.  Seriously  . . . I’m so glad to have this recipe because now we can have spaghetti a little more often with smiles all-around!  Homemade is always better, isn’t it!?

Fit Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
Mimi’s Fit Foods
Adapted from Tastes of Lizzy T

2 pounds ground turkey
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (14.5-ounces each) cans Italian diced tomatoes, with juice
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup water
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

In a large saucepan, brown the ground turkey along with the chopped onion. Drain, if necessary.

Add in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a low boil, stirring often. Once the sauce is heated through and at a low boil, reduce the burner temperature to low and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Yields Approximately 13 Cups.

Nutritional Information (Per 1/2 Cup):
77 Calories | 7.9g Protein | 4.1g Carbs | 3.6g Fat (0.9g = Sat.) | 0.6g Fiber | 2.5g Sugars

Baked Corn Dogs

Baked Corn Dogs - Mimi's Fit Foods

Oh my word!  Sorry for my absence the past week!  I was traveling, but had still hoped to get my recipes posted and it just didn’t happen.  So, why not apologize for my delay with corn dogs!  Yes, I love corn dogs.  (Have you ever tried one at Disneyland?  They are INCREDIBLE!)  I rarely eat them though because they come fried like 99.9% of the time.  Unless . . . . we make them ourselves at home.  I stumbled across this recipe a couple summers ago and gave them a whirl.  I’m not gonna lie.  I think these are SO much better than the typical, fried corn dogs.  They’re worth the extra amount of work, which really isn’t much, and they are WAY healthier for us.  I’ve taken them to family BBQ’s (reheating them on the grill) and they are a gobbled up in no time.  Definitely a crowd pleaser among adults and children alike.

I usually buy Turkey Franks.  I’ve bought the Jennie-O brand (70 calories per dog) and the Ball Park-All White Turkey brand (only 45 calories per dog).   Both yield tasty results.  (If you’re not trying to be super-duper healthy I will tell you that the Nathan’s All-Beef Hot Dogs are the yummiest, but you’ll pay for it with extra calories as they come in at 170 calories per dog.)

The dough is a cinch to pull together.  The only trick is to make sure you allow enough time for it to rise, so plan accordingly.  Once the dough is risen it takes maybe ten minutes to roll it out and wrap around your hotdogs and then you just bake them.  The dough has a nice, sweat corn taste to compliment the hotdogs and I personally love to dip the finished corn dogs in spicy mustard (it’s high in flavor and low in calories).

Sometimes I cut some of the hotdogs in half (crosswise) before I wrap the dough around them so that there are little ones for the kids.   We eat these at record speed every time I make them.  I’m pretty sure you will too.

Baked Corn Dogs
Adapted from The Food Network

1 cup reduced-fat milk
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (like SAF)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting and kneading
1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
12 reduced-fat hot dogs (I used Ball Park Turkey Franks)
1 large egg, beaten

Warm the milk to about 110 degrees; pour into mixing bowl. Sprinkle in the yeast and let soften for about 2 minutes.  Add in the olive oil, brown sugar and cornmeal and mix until it just comes together.   Add the flour, salt, baking soda and cayenne pepper; mix to make a sticky dough.

With a dough hook, knead the dough in the mixer for about 2 minutes, adding more flour if needed, until a smooth but still slightly tacky dough forms.  (Alternately you can turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth but still slightly tacky, about 5 minutes.)  Shape the dough into a ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Meanwhile, insert a wooden stick or small skewer into each hot dog, about 2 inches deep; set aside.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and lightly oil a large baking sheet. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface; divide into 12 pieces. With your palms, roll each piece into a 10 to 12-inch length. Wrap each piece around a hot dog, tucking and pressing the edges to seal; place on the baking sheet.

Brush the dough-wrapped dogs with the beaten egg. Bake until golden, 15 minutes.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 2 Corn Dogs)
Calories:  335
Protein:  19.3g
Carbs:  51.3g
Fat:  6.7g (1.2g = Sat. Fat)
Fiber:  4g
Sugars:  8.3g

Jalapeño Turkey Cheeseburgers with Guacamole

Jalapeno Turkey Cheeseburgers with Quacamole - Mimi's Fit Foods

You guys!  Labor Day weekend is this weekend and I know you totally need THE burger recipe for your BBQ.  I found it!  I truly did.  These are seriously so yummy!  We’re talking about taking a turkey burger to an elevated level with some simple spices, cheese, and quac.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of this combination for a turkey burger before, but I’m sure glad I found it.  There’s onion, garlic, fresh cilantro, smoky spices (cumin and smoked paprika), lime, and jalapeño in the turkey burger itself.  And then it gets topped with cheese and guacamole.  LOVE!  The jalapeño doesn’t make the burger spicy because you remove the seeds and membranes, but it packs GREAT flavor.

You’ve got to get these in before the grilling season ends.  I think Labor Day is a perfect excuse!  We had these on Fit Burger Buns with Easy Guacamole and we can’t wait to make them again.

Jalapeño Turkey Cheeseburgers with Guacamole
Adapted from Annie’s Eats

1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced small
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic, mined or pressed
1 jalapeño, seeded, cored and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

To serve:
Sliced Reduced Fat Cheese (I used Sargento’s Colby Jack)
Fit Burger Buns

Easy Guacamole

Heat grill to medium-high heat.  Oil the grates to prevent the burgers from sticking.  To make the burgers, combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix lightly, just until evenly combined.  Form the mixture into 5 patties.

Cook the patties on the heated grill, about 3-4 minutes per side, flipping once.  A few minutes before the burgers are finished cooking, top with sliced cheese.  Cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 160 degrees or until they are no longer pink.  Remove the burgers to a plate and let rest a few minutes before serving.  Assemble with burger buns and 1 tablespoon guacamole (each).

Serves 5.

Nutritional Information (Per Burger)
Calories:  393.6
Protein:  28.6g
Carbs:  33.3g
Fat:  18.9g (7g = Sat.)
Fiber:  6.4g
Sugars:  3.3g

Cheddar and Avocado Turkey Burgers

Cheddar and Avocado Turkey Burgers - Mimi's Fit Foods

It’s summer and grilling is in full-force, right!?  When summer hits I immediately have intense cravings for burgers (along with a myriad of other things!).  This is definitely one of my go-to burgers because I almost always have the ingredients, it’s easy, and it tastes fancier than a run-of-the-mill burger (although I like those too).  Turkey and avocado go so well together and the cheese gives it that punch of flavor (and fat) to make it filling and oh-so-yummy. And, it probably goes without saying, but avocado is a MUCH healthier spread than mayo.  For calorie control, I used sandwich thins for my bun (only 100 calories each), but I usually like to make my own buns because they are SO much better and only a few more calories.

So, this is a keeper in my book and I think you all should add it to your grill line-up this summer (maybe even more than once)!

Happy Grilling . . . and Happy Summer!

Cheddar and Avocado Turkey Burgers
Adapted from Real Simple

canola oil, for the grate
1 avocado, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
kosher salt and ground pepper
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup reduced fat Cheddar, grated
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 whole-wheat buns (Sandwich Thins)

Heat grill to medium-high. Once it is hot, clean the grill grate with a wire brush.  Just before grilling, oil the grill grate.

Mix together the avocado, lime juice, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a small bowl until combined.

Gently mix together the turkey, Cheddar, grated onion, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper with your hands in a medium bowl until just combined. Form the turkey mixture into five patties. Use your fingers to make a shallow well in the top of each patty (this will prevent overplumping during cooking).

Grill the burgers until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165° F, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Grill the buns, split-side down, until toasted, 5 to 10 seconds per side.

Stack the burgers, sliced onion, and avocado mixture between the buns.

Serves 5.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 Full Burger)
Calories:  301
Protein:  24.1g
Carbs:  24.9g
Fat:  15.2g (3.6g = Sat.)
Fiber:  5.2g
Sugars:  2.4g

Fit and Creamy Baked Spaghetti

Healthy Baked Spaghetti - Mimi's Fit Foods

Here is another way to make spaghetti.  I’ve said it before, but my cute husband doesn’t really like traditional spaghetti.  However, he’ll eat this.  I’m sure the addition of cream cheese helps, but hey . . . I’ll take it . . . and so should you.  Think pasta, cream cheese, rich marinara sauce, and more cheese.  Uh huh . . . dreamy, right?  I’ve seen versions of this meal floating around blogs and Pinterest with raving reviews so I just had to give it a whirl.  I trimmed the recipe up a bit and we absolutely adore this meal.  It’s hard to not go back for seconds!  My little baby gobbles it up right along with us.  It’s made in a casserole dish, so it makes a great family-style meal.  Since we are a small family we always have leftovers.  And, well, since it’s summer I am completely in love with leftovers because we are so busy playing these days that sometimes we don’t want to take a break to make dinner (or maybe mom is simply too tired from all the play  – let’s be honest!).  If you want a delicious spin on traditional spaghetti, add this to your lineup.  It’s so yummy (and easy, mind you!).

Fit and Creamy Baked Spaghetti
Adapted from The Blonde Can Cook

6 ounces multi-grain angel hair pasta, dry
2 cups spaghetti sauce
 (I used Prego Heart Smart)
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 teaspoon garlic salt
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
4 ounces light cream cheese
(1/3 less fat), room temperature
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Cook pasta according to directions on package, only to al dente.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground turkey, garlic salt, salt and pepper.  Brown the ground turkey until cooked through.  Stir in your spaghetti sauce.

Drain and place cooked pasta back into your pan. Add in the cream cheese and Italian seasoning. Stir until cream cheese is melted (this is easier if your cream cheese is at room temperature, but it will still work if it isn’t).

Lightly grease a 2-quart casserole dish (a 9×13 baking dish would work too). Spread a small amount of meat sauce in the bottom of the dish.

Put spaghetti on top of sauce and top with remaining meat sauce. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

Bake for 30 minutes on 350 or until bubbly.

Serve and enjoy!

Serves 8.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/8 the Recipe)
Calories:  311
Protein:  20g
Carbs:  14.5g
Fat:  7.2g (3.7g = Sat.)
Fiber:  1.5g
Sugars:  0.4g

Southwest Turkey Burgers Made Easy

Southwest Turkey Burgers - Mimi's Fit Foods

This is a VERY easy, yet a delicious way to make turkey burgers.  All you do is add an egg white and salsa to your ground turkey, shape into patties, and grill (or broil).  I mean, really!  Does it get a whole lot easier than that?  I love to whip these up when I don’t have much energy to make dinner because I know that we can still eat something tasty, but it only takes a few minutes from start to finish!  You don’t have to worry about pulling out spices or teaspoons or anything of the sort.  It’s awesome and they taste awesome too!

Southwest Turkey Burgers Made Easy

1 pound ground turkey breast (I used 93% lean)
1/3 cup black bean and corn salsa, from jar (I used Great Value brand)
1 egg white
optional toppings (tomato, avocado, lettuce, etc.)

In a medium bowl, combine the turkey, salsa and egg white.  Mix well and then form into 4 patties.  Grill patties for about 5-6 minutes per side, or until cooked throughout (you can also broil on each side for 5-6 minutes if you prefer not to grill).  If desired, serve with a few slices of tomato and avocado.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Turkey Burger, No toppings)
Calories:  177.5
Protein:  23.6g
Carbs:  3.4g
Fat:  8g
Fiber:  1.3g
Sugars:  0.7g

Turkey Taco Roll-Ups

Turkey Taco Roll-Ups-Mimi's Fit Foods

This is a fun twist on a traditional taco.  It’s very flavorful, but baking the taco gives it a little crunch without deep frying it.  This came together in a cinch and I was WAY happy with the results.  If you’re looking for a yummy, healthy, crunchy taco . . . well, I just found you one (or two).

Turkey Taco Roll-Ups
Adapted from Du Su Mama

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. ground turkey (93% lean)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
1 teaspoon cumin
1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup reduced fat cheese (I used Mexican blend)
10 corn tortillas (I used Mission Thins)
non-stick cooking spray (I used Canola)
kosher salt, optional

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil.  Add chopped onion and cook until broken down and translucent, about 5-8 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add ground turkey, season with salt and pepper, taco seasoning, and cumin.  Cook until no longer pink, crumbling the meat into small pieces.  Add tomatoes and cook until warmed through.  Remove from heat; allow mixture to cool slightly.  Add cilantro and cheese and stir to combine.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet by spraying it lightly with cooking spray (or by using a Silpat linter)

Warm tortillas before placing filling inside.  (I do this in the microwave in batches.  I place two damp paper towels in the microwave, put 2-3 tortillas between the towels, and heat for 30-40 seconds.)  Put about 1/4 cup of filling inside a warmed tortilla, roll tortilla, and place on baking sheet with seam-side down.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.  Lightly spray each of the rolled tacos with cooking spray.  If desired, sprinkle with kosher salt.

Cook for 15-18 minutes, or until rolled tacos are golden brown.  If desired, serve with salsa.

Serves 5.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 2 Rolled Tacos)
Calories:  275.6
Protein:  23.9g
Carbs:  22.5g
Fat:  10.8g (3.3g = Sat.)
Fiber:  3.3g
Sugars:  5.3g